We all know that nutrition is one of the most important cornerstones for good health. However, in North America today over 70% of people are not eating the recommended 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day. We may have the best of intentions to eat well, but with living busier lives coupled with things like kids going through a ‘picky eater’ phase, eating healthy overall can be a challenge.
When choosing nutrient dense foods is just too big of a challenge in a day, it can be useful to know that we have a tool that helps fill the gaps in our kids’ diets. This is where a multivitamin can be helpful. However, knowing if you’re choosing a good quality multivitamin can be hard when there are so many options on the market.
Here are some key things to look for when assessing if your multivitamin is of good quality:
- Natural Ingredients: The label should clearly state that the ingredients are naturally sourced, and preferably from food sources as much as possible. Real food is much easier for the body to recognize and utilize effectively compared to synthetic forms.
- No Added Sugar: There is enough sugar in most other foods that we encounter in our diet, we don’t need to add sugar in with our multivitamin.
- Active Ingredients: Vitamins can be found in what is called bioactive form or inactive form. When vitamins are in bioactive or bioavailable form it is easier for the body to digest and utilize them effectively.
- Non-medicinal ingredients: The fewer the non-medicinal ingredients the better. There will usually need to be a few to help stabilize the product, but the list shouldn’t be 10 + ingredients long and the name of the ingredients shouldn’t be as long as your arm. A good rule of thumb in most situations is if you can’t pronounce it, it’s likely a chemical ingredient.
If your multivitamin has most or all of the above things, then you can feel pretty sure that you’ve selected a good quality multivitamin. Another thing that is often helpful when looking at a kids multivitamin is if it’s easy to give to your kids. Most parents can attest to how tricky it can be to get kids to take a supplement, especially if they have to swallow a pill or drink a liquid they don’t like. Something that has minimal flavor or a flavor your child enjoys that can be mixed into things easily will also likely be a win for both you and your kids.